It has taken me a while to get here but the perspective I have settled on for 2022 is to be grateful for the options I have and the possibilities that could happen. In other words, expect good things. 

The last couple of years have brought many challenges for all of us. I know for me I have  been so caught up with managing my own disappointments and trying to preempt the negatives, that it’s been hard to pause and think ….”what if?” 

“What if it all works out for good?”, “What if there is some meaning in all of this?” etc.

Easter Time is a season that means different things to different people, we all come from a variety of traditions and backgrounds. I have always celebrated Easter in my family and over time it has become more important to me as I have discovered my own personal faith. What I have been mulling over with the Easter story this year, is how Jesus was nothing like people’s expectations and that was a problem for many people. The Jewish people who had been under oppressive Roman rule for years were expecting a powerful military guy who would get rid of the Romans for them. Jesus would have been a disappointment to many people, on the outside he appeared a bit normal and powerless. 

However, the opposite was true, Jesus ended up saying and doing things that were not normal and very unexpected. It threatened and offended too many people and he was killed. Throughout his time on earth Jesus told many people including the ones closest to him, his disciples, that this wouldn’t be the end of things, it was more like the beginning.

For those of us who know the story, Jesus was crucified on a cross, a Roman method of capital punishment. When some of the women he was close with went to check on the body in accordance with the customs at the time, they found that the body had disappeared. Despite there being visible evidence that he had come back to life, which included him appearing to various people, it was believed by some and doubted by others. Even the disciples were so caught up in their pain and disappointment that at first it didn’t occur to them that it all might be true. 

As a child I was very confused by the name  “Good Friday”, the day that Jesus died on the cross seemed to be a very dark day to me. But the name nods to what was to come….expect good things. As I grew in my personal faith over the years, I too started to understand that it all really is true. Regardless of whether you believe the Easter story, we can face real challenges and get so caught up in them, that when someone or something good comes along it can be hard to even notice.

I think it’s important for all of us to expect good things. There is something about the last couple of years that has given us many reasons to expect bad things, or if anything good does appear we can dismiss it with cynicism. Fair enough. We can even use things to escape our current reality, because it’s either too painful or too exhausting. 

Unfortunately our inner life, our screen time, the dialogue we choose in our conversations can impact our lives even further. If there is anything we can do something about, it’s this stuff, how we choose to respond. We need to reach for hope and reach to each other. 

Easter is essentially an invite to the whole world – for us to know we are loved more than ever before and to know we are invited to another way of living. There are things in my life that died with Jesus on the cross, but I had to choose to surrender those things myself and believe that they did in fact die. I also have to believe that there is life after death, which means I need to expect good things. 

With new life comes expectancy. You may not be able to rely on your circumstances right now but hope still exists and it can be cultivated. For Easter this year, why not start a new tradition?

Here are some things have helped me over the last few months, feel free to give them a go: 

  • Be honest with yourself. With Lent fast approaching, ask yourself – Is there something in your life that is making things even harder? It could be how you choose to escape from reality. How are you spending your time on your device? Are you in an unhealthy relationship? Is your spending out of control etc. Maybe it’s time to identify what the thing is, talk to someone about it and get help. Make changes and expect good things for your life! 
  • Play the “What if Game”. Hands up the worst case scenario thinkers! I am definitely there with you. This game helps you to get your mind on what good could happen. E.g. think of an upcoming event, holiday, conversation, part of your future, that you’re a bit worried about. Instead of imagining the worst case scenario, imagine the positive ”what if’” instead. “What if this is the best holiday ever?!”, “What if this solution actually works?” etc. Try it around others and watch the mood shift!

 

Gratefulness – Tell someone that you are grateful for them. We need each other and sometimes we forget that people can’t read our minds. Telling someone that you’re simply grateful for their friendship or something that they did, can open the door to more meaningful conversations and genuine connection.